Redknapp confirms record Rossi bid
Harry Redknapp has confirmed that Tottenham Hotspur made a club-record bid for Giuseppe Rossi yesterday - and fully expects the club to be in the market for a marquee signing again this summer.
Redknapp spent most of yesterday at the club's training ground hoping to land a big name to add to a strikeforce that has struggled in front of goal in the Premier League this term. Rossi, Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente and Atletico Madrid duo Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero were all targeted but none signed for the club in what otherwise turned out to be an uncharacteristically quiet deadline day for the Spurs manager.
In a move contrary to Tottenham's prudent past, club chairman Daniel Levy made a £38.5million bid for Argentina forward Aguero and a £35million offer for Villarreal striker Rossi. Had either bid been successful, Tottenham's transfer record of £16.5million for Luka Modric, would have been smashed.
Redknapp insists Tottenham were serious about paying such high fees and expects Levy and owner Joe Lewis to fund a similar purchase if he deems it necessary when the transfer window re-opens.
Redknapp said: "Daniel always said that if we found the right player then we would have gone for him but it was difficult. He tried something with Rossi. I think he offered £35million in the end. It's hard to get top players unless you pay top money. You couldn't get Rossi because Villarreal don't want to sell you him.
"The chairman would have bought someone for £30million though, for sure. He wanted to bring someone in. There was no doubt that he wanted to do it. He wanted to get somebody in and if Daniel and Joe Lewis can find the right people they will have a go again."
Redknapp's other two targets were Everton's Phil Neville and Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam. Adam was willing to move to White Hart Lane but the deal was scuppered with 20 minutes of the window remaining after two of Blackpool's main shareholders could not sign the paperwork to sanction the £7million transfer in time.
In contrast to their mega-bucks approaches for Rossi and Aguero, Spurs are thought to have initially offered just £250,000 for Toffees captain Neville before upping their bid to £1.5million yesterday. David Moyes slammed Tottenham's original bid, describing it as "insulting" and Redknapp understands the Everton manager's disappointment.
"It was a pretty low offer for a good player. I couldn't argue with David on it," Redknapp said. "He would have been a great signing for us. He is a leader, a captain, a character and he can play in three or four positions."
Tottenham were rocked by the news today that Ledley King will undergo an operation on the groin injury which has kept him out since October last year. The news came as a surprise given that Redknapp has continuously insisted that King would not require surgery but he has allayed fears that 30-year-old's season is over by naming him in his 25-man squad.
Tottenham have a major injury crisis in defence ahead of tomorrow's game at Blackburn Rovers as Younes Kaboul (knee) and Michael Dawson (suspension) are out and William Gallas is struggling with a hip problem. That puts Jonathan Woodgate in line to make a premature comeback from a long-term groin injury which has kept him out of action for 14 months.
The former Real Madrid man has only played two practice matches since his return and Redknapp admits he is taking a huge risk by considering fielding the 31-year-old at Blackburn. "He hasn't really been pushed in training," Redknapp said. "He had half a game against a team of waiters from QPR and 60 minutes against Charlton's young team but he never broke sweat. It was too easy for him really."
Woodgate has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and Redknapp admits that at one point he feared the defender would have to hang up his boots. "His career was over," Redknapp said. "Hopefully he can get back to how good he was before. He has had his injuries like Ledley. They were the best two centre-halves in the country when they were both fit."